HAPPY DIRT DAY – oops, sorry EARTH DAY!

Yes, it is that time of year again where we all pause for a moment to see the damage we are personally causing to the earth and if we can fix it.  I checked out several articles this last week on a variety of topics, the ones that caught my eye were about an individual’s past.

celebrate earth day

My past has some lumps and bumps in it but overall very few regrets.  I think one of my biggest regrets was not paying enough to my carbon footprint when I was young.  I NEVER threw trash out the window of the car (parents would have slapped me silly for a stunt like that), which is good, however;  I used to trust the bug killers back then, and that was bad.nasty bug spray

I didn’t catch on to the whole “earth-friendly” movement until the late 70’s (boo hiss).  I didn’t care what I ate or where it came from as long as I didn’t have to make it – fast foodaholic!  I also didn’t think twice about the plastic soda pop bottle I threw in the trash.

clean earth

The thinks (yes thinks not things as it took me a while to think of them – another proud idiot moment for me – woo hoo!) I know now are:

  • Reduce, recycle, reuse, repurpose everything I put my hand on. I three two are easy enough to manage, the last – repurpose – is my most fav one.  I blame my mother for this!  She was what we affectionately labeled her “a Dumpster Diver”!! (get out of the gutter for a moment!)  She could not pass up a junk (yard) sale, junk (2nd hand) store, or even an actual dump site.  It was not totally her fault.  She grew up during the depression, and they learned to save everything, just in case you needed it for something at a later date.  So rummaging around at flea markets, garage/yard sales, second-hand stores, and even dumps (trash places) was one of her most favorite things to do.  We three sisters all have this addiction which has also passed on to my eldest sister’s son (in truth he is worse than all three of us girls combined!).
  • NO CHEMICALS! Organic was the big “it” thing from decades ago.  As time and governments passed, the organic certification came about.  The funny thing about getting the organic certification is you can still use up to 15% chemicals on your plants (including food) and are still allowed to be called organic – bummer!  We prefer “natural” because all that we do on our tiny piece of earth is natural.
    • Companion planting.
    • Good bug attraction planting.
    • Weed removal by hand or earth-friendly methods (vinegar works great for a ton of bad weeds)
    • Using other things like feeding birds to deter (eat) bad bugs, setting water out (We have a pond and a creek in our field, and a coy pond in the front yard with easy ways for the honey bees to reach the water.  We also float wood in there during the hottest parts of summer in case they fall in.), allowing our goofy chickens to roam freely (might have to re-think this idea if they don’t stay out of our plots) and eat bad critters (grubs, grasshoppers, etc.), the guineas also get to roam about
  • Water conservation and sustainable farming/gardening practices.

every day earth day

Well, once again my trusted Farmer Almanac has provided  us all with some help:

15 Things YOU Can Do to Protect the Earth.

They have some of the great old standbys like eat green, waste reduction but they are also sharing ways to save with heating and cooling – nice guys!!  Oh, and I love the “Remember Mom’s Advice part – my mom was full of them!  In fact, thinking back now, I do not think there was a single conversation with mom that did not carry some type of mom-ism in it.

earthday chocolate

My final thought on this wonderful Earth Day 2017: (you must sing this…) It’s not easy being green.  Having to be the same color as the leaves and the trees… (Don’t you just love Kermit the Frog!)

kermit easy being green

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HAVE YOU EVER HEARD THIS?

Today’s Friday funny is very simple.  Just click on the link.  It will take you to YouTube.  This is one that I have never seen or heard before.  Please share if you have and if you can remember where/why!  Also let me know if you laughed as hard as I did?

 

Kremit The Frog – Piggy Got Back

 

Hope you enjoy your Friday Fun Day!!

HOW LONG SHOULD A PROJECT TAKE?

I don’t think there is any single easy answer to this question.  Then again, maybe it’s just me because I have so many things going on at the same time.

  1. Knitting
    1. More hats for my Etsy shop (also scarves and jewelry)
    2. Personal requests – shawls, throws, and the occasional baby things.
    3. My creations:

4-17-17 my entralac creation

  1. Gardening
    1. Cleaning and prepping plots inside and out of the greenhouse.
    2. Keeping chickens from ripping out my new transplants and seeds.

dancing chickens

(Yes – my birds do the chicken dance every time they tear up a plot-grrr!)

  1. Writing
    1. Helberg farm stories blog
    2. Etsy shop – Rachellenacreations – blog and shop updates
    3. Rlh Creative Virtual Assistant – Yep, new job for me so more time to squeeze in a day (can you say IDIOT?? – but you have to say it really loud!)
    4. Other creative writing jobs – copywriter, author, nut-bag in a pen addiction (this one is the worst to keep up with…it’s all those wild ideas floating around in my head.).

When is a body to find time for the standard day-to-day projects?

  • Cooking
  • Cleaning
  • Shopping
  • Farm chores
  • Extra seasonal farm chores
  • Specialty projects (like setting up new plots)

They are all never ending.  So my question goes out to all of you – How long should a project take?

When I have the help of my co-farmer/sister; a simple project can be done in a day or a weekend.  When my Grandson is preoccupied, I can get minor projects done (cooking, cleaning – at least a little, etc.).

nathan hiding

I have a yarn addiction that must feed, or it gets ugly!

cat n yarn

The gardens cannot be left attended for a day without the weeds full-on assault on all my hard work.

scary weed

Where does one project end and the next begin?  Is it the same for everyone?  Am I the only whack-job that has to have several things going on at the same time, all the time?

Do not even start that “list” thingy with me!  I have tried every list and method out there.  Read the blogs.  Listen to the podcasts, and watched the webinars – bah humbug!  You can’t tell me that the people that create all that “helpful list stuff” are completely in control and on top of all their projects?  They must have some help, or they live in a box.  Some days I think it would be great to live in a Tiny House just to have my own quiet little space to thing…and of course, work on a project.

tiny home

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FUN FRIDAY FROM FOLK FANCIES.

Ya, say that five times fast!  It is actually folklore not fancies, but “lore”  is not an “f” word.  This outstanding spring day/Friday Funny is brought to you courtesy of my wonderful Farmers Almanac – Spring Weather Lore and More!

I have heard of most of them. However this one is a newbie for me and had me laughing:

  • A cold and moist April fills the cellar and fattens the cow

im-not-fat-3g30xq.jpg (notice she is purple!)

WHAT?

I have now and have had cellar’s, and have had cows.  I have seen cold and warm, moist and dry April’s.  But I have NEVER heard this saying!  And just how is that supposed to work?  Why would a cold and moist (ok, moist I get) April fatten the cow?

Our bigger farmers start their first cutting of hay around early to mid-May, so it behooves (yes, I used that word) of them to wish for a moist April.  They also use irrigation systems and are on metered water from the state, so any help they get from a wet April would be very welcome and feed cows later in the year.  But why cold?

got water

Cooler here (above freezing 32°F or better if it stays above 38°F at night) means a better chance for our spring cool-weather crops to make it before we hit the hotter stuff.  Asparagus, carrots, peas, beets, will all give us a spring and a fall crop (I am talking outside, not in our greenhouse) if the weather is what it should be.  We usually start potatoes and onions in late March or early April to avoid the worst of the bug predators.  About mid-April is corn, and then you start praying there is no deep freeze.  Then there is the issue of my good bugs!  They are showing up already, should I worry about their safety?

what-do-you-ugczf6

With that all being said – I am loving the weather right now – perfect 70°F-ish – rain every few days – nights above freezing.  If it were my call, I would have it like this year-round except for Thanksgiving through till the 5th of the new year.  I gotta have my chilly holidays and my white Christmas!

its-beginning-to-k70zd1

DID YOU JUST TOUCH MY FOOD?

The ugly storms that came through Colorado decided to dump moisture almost everywhere but here – boo hoo!  With the temps jumping back into the 70’s tomorrow, my hose team (which is just me dragging out a bazillion hose’s) is set up and ready to go.  Now I am thinking about what to share with you over this next month.

(When you realize your hose is old-)

cartoon hose

My thoughts, topics, and ideas usually get inspiration from all the different emails regarding farming and gardening.  Most are just shares, some are things to buy, and some are of a more serious nature.  Those of you that have been following me know how I do not care much for the serious.  I get too serious and have a bad tendency to get on my soapbox and rant.  That is the biggest reason I shy away from them – however – that being said:

I want to share that I support this organization (not financially because I am broke, but I do sign petitions and emails to the Government):

http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/about-us

The reason why I connect with them instead of worrying about the FDA is simple – – – ACTION!  They are working hard to try to assure us that our food sources are decent and safe to eat.  I live for this way of life.

where food comes from

Yes, we do have to buy some things from the markets.  Yes, I do read labels.  Yes, it does make a difference to me what I feed myself and my family.  This, and more, is the reason why I follow these guys.  With all the ugly recent changes in our county of late, I am pushing more to maintain our own family food mill.

I know I have several readers from other countries and I am curious to know how you best obtain your foods?  Markets? Open Markets?  Barter? Or are you a self-supplier?  Please share as I will probably never get to go world traveling (boo hoo), I find it all interesting!  I also think there is something great to be gained with universal exchange of knowledge, especially in regard to good, clean food.

Then, on occasion, I see headlines from ezines like this:

Brazil, Mexico make first deposits to ‘doomsday’ data vault.

Which reinforces why I love to grow our own food.  They are saving seeds in a far-off hide away prepping for the end of everything.  Hmm??  I always wondered if there are people there to take care of things should it happen – AND – do they know how to farm or at least garden?  I mean really, if they save all the great seeds but no one knows what to do with them, what does it matter?  Oh, and don’t get me started on the hybrid/GMO seeds that are sterile.

really-you-did-rgoobv

So, for me there is a great sense of satisfaction when you get to eat the fruits of your own labors.  That is just one benefit of growing your own.  Some of the others are:

  • Knowing what is put into the food and the soil.
  • Giving a bit back to the earth instead of just taking away.
  • Pulling the family closer together by working on it all together.
  • Lessening the dangers of what goes into our food.
  • Cost savings by growing our own and saving our own seeds (fyi: a ton of seeds out on the market today cannot be repurposed. Most of them are treated in such a manner that they are sterile.).  We try to only use heirloom seeds.
  • Income benefit of having enough grown to give some to family and friends, yet still having enough to sell to others.

We grow our own peppers, but still to get our black pepper from the store.  We grow stevia for added sweetener, but we still get our sugar in bulk from the local beet factory (or store if needed).  On a side note, our small town local grocery storiesdont touch chocolate are outstanding!  I have requested some special items several times, and they went out of their way to provide it.  They also helped us during the fire and for that they will be eternally our friends!  You tell me if you can get one of the big mass grocery stores to do that?

We love to do bartering, trading, sharing in tons of different ways.  I think that may also come from farm, or at least small town, living.  I hope that you have connections – near or far – that you can exchange seeds, food, or just ideas with.  If I missed something here, please share!

what-did-you-lq0cwv

NEW SUNRISE, NEW MOMENT, NEW DAY – WHAT FUN WILL IT BRING?

Today day is going to be fun Friday!  I have decided that things in the world (in general) have been way too serious and it is bumming me out – big time!  So, I have decided that one day a week – Friday – I am going to delegate my writing to something off-the-wall, fun, funny, or just all around cute. (Not like my writing isn’t already semi-silly, but I want to push it a bit farther.)

This may be about things on the farm, or it may be related to something I saw or read.  Today is something I read via my email newsletter from them:

Newborn mountain lion is the poster kitten for wildlife corridors by MNN

mountain-lion-kitten-photo national parks(Photo by National Park Service)

Now how can anyone resist that face?  The story that goes with it is also wonderful!  I strongly urge you to read it and, if so inclined, sign up for their new letter.  It a wonderful read about all kinds of earth-related items.  Since this is Earth Day Month – perfect time to do so!

On a more silly note,

4-6-17 unwanted secretary

Apparently, this is my secretary/assistant today?  I have knocked it off my desk several times, but it keeps popping up on something.  Maybe it just is trying to get me to throw it outside?  There are a number of wild birds perched in the tree outside the door.  Pretty sure they would love it if I did!

Then there are these freakazoids:

 

Apparently, they do not know  IT’S APRIL!  Bloomin fools, with fool being the operative word here.

This extra little fun kicker just happened over the last couple weeks:

mic n rick caddy 4-7-16

I remember when my brother-in-law bought this beautiful old caddy (can’t remember it’s year – 60’s something), and it immediately went into their garage.  That was decades ago, and it was in there or storage ever since.  He had always wanted to fix it up – but life goes on as it does.  Now he has passed it down to his son and grandson, and the two are having a blast rebuilding it!  Can’t wait to see this beauty in action when they are done.

Finally, for this fun Friday, I would be amiss if I did not do something for the farmer in me.  So I will leave you now with this beautiful thought that someone shared with me:

super power bacon

TIME TO CRY, WE SOLD THE FARM!

There are times in life that you just cannot take anymore!  One of my mother’s favorite expressions was “God never gives you anymore than you can handle.”  WHAT A CROCK!

DSCF4878

Three years of the worst drought Colorado had seen in more than 100 years.  That was our first 3 years on the farm.

A goat herd going from 75 down to 42 in one spook by a coyote and dive into a train.  Most of what the train took out was the babies – broke my heart the first time.

A new batch of 12-week old chicks just moved from the porch to their own space in the chicken barn.  We just knew it was secure – wrong.  The mama fox and her kits snuck in from the older chicken side and went on a frenzy.  When it was all said, and done, the fox carried off just one older hen, and all but two of the one hundred babies were dead.  I opened the door and dropped to the ground when I saw the carnage.

Purchased the greenhouse kit when we moved in, August 2000.  Spent over three years arguing with the company over a stupid finally shipping/admin fee.  We won the war but lost the battle.  The delay cost us our savings for that project and it took till 2011 to finally get to it. As of this post it is still not complete, but it is workable.

Then in 2007 we were in the storm path.  The old farmers around here say you can tell how you will do with the first good spring storm.  They are right.  If you are hit hard on the first, you will be hit by everyone that year, and we were.  Our outside gardens – tomatoes, peppers, cucs, everything were in full fruit mode in July.  One Saturday storm evening and everything was stripped to a single stalk.  This also shredded our roof and window frames.  It was not large hail, just the sheer force of it did the damage.

In 2014, we had the fire.  April 20, Easter Sunday.  It was a beautiful day.  By 8pm that night our world was gone!  It is very true that you never know what you have till it’s gone. A 4-year old grandson, fifty plus years of memories, pictures, tools, personal art and craft works including several things by our mother, now deceased.

Well it is 2017.  AND I HAVE FINALLY HAD ENOUGH!

APRIL FOOLS! 

OH, who am I kidding, they are gonna have to bury me on this place!  A person like me does not fight so hard for something to simply give up – not gonna happen!

So, for all of you that maybe fighting your own fights and contemplating quitting – don’t!  Here’s a bit of advice from an old expert at it:

  1. Take a deep breath, hold it to the count of 10 and exhale.
  2. Step completely away from whatever the bad thing is that is making you think these thoughts. I mean COMPLETELY AWAY – stay at a friend, a night in a hotel, a nice country drive, anything to clear your head.
  3. First thing you do when you get back to your issue – start thinking of the good things you still have:
  4. A new home.
  5. Another flock of birds.
  6. The other Grandson is still with us.
  7. We are fairly healthy (just fair – not perfect – LOL)
  8. The sun came out yesterday (not today) and spring is in the air.
  9. And, Thank God I still have my sense of humor!!!  Couldn’t make it through anything without it!

HAPPY APRIL FOOLS DAY EVERYONE!!

20130719_144913

(No, we are not selling the farm- this is where my littlest pirate watches over us all!)

Did I get you?